SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The Americans sidled over to one another, leaned on their brooms at the side of the curling sheet and pondered where it all went wrong.
Between them, they just can't come up with an answer.
Erika Brown's U.S. rink is all but mathematically out of the women's Olympic tournament at the Sochi Games after an ugly 9-2 loss to previously winless Denmark on Friday.
It left the team with a 1-5 win-loss record, tied for last place in the standings and with plenty of soul-searching to do.
"It's not like we'll leave here thinking that we don't belong here," said Brown, speaking as if the team was already in the departure lounge at Sochi International Airport. "We just came here and unfortunately we didn't perform like we know we can."
With an all-star cast, tons of experience and some decent form behind them, this was supposed to be the year the U.S. women made an impact at the Olympics.
It hasn't worked out that way.
The United States has lurched from one disappointment to another at the Ice Cube Curling Center.
There was the opening-day 7-4 loss to Switzerland that got the team off on the wrong foot. Then came a humiliating 12-3 loss to Britain, a game that saw the Americans concede an Olympic-record seven points in one end. And then the defeat to the Danes, who were up to that point the only team still to register a victory.
"It's hard to take," U.S. women coach Derek Brown said, "because we know we are capable of a lot more. Sometimes in our sport, it goes that way.
"You do everything right coming in, get all the preparation right and things just don't go right."
Brown's rink had some good results at the Continental Cup in Las Vegas just last month, including a win and a tie against Eve Muirhead's world champions from Scotland.